Scripture uses a number of words to describe God's people, not the least of which is servants. We are called to serve, as heirs (Col. 3:24), in freedom, through love (Gal. 5:13), in humility (Mk. 10:43; Mt. 23:11), according to our gifting (1 Pet. 4:10), as trustworthy stewards (1 Cor. 4:1-2), being dutiful, faithful and wise (Lk. 17:10, 12:43), with dependent hearts (Ps. 119:125), fully devoted (Mt. 6:24), to please God (Gal. 1:10), to do His will (Eph. 6:6), and enter into His joy (Mt. 25:23)—looking to Jesus as the ultimate example (Mt. 20:28; Jn. 13:5; Phil. 2:7).
A significant part of this calling to be servants is lived out practically and tangibly, in the body of the church, through serving one another.
As we take the next step towards regathering as a church and move back to two gatherings beginning Sunday, March 7th (that's less than two weeks from now!), we are looking for a number of volunteers to help with our Sunday service teams. Whether you're helping greet visitors, readying our gathering space, cleaning up after service, running song slides, operating the livestream, caring for and teaching young children, helping visitors get connected, or ensuring a safe environment to gather, all of that helps remove barriers to hearing the gospel, worshiping God, and receiving the Word—in ways both seen and unseen.
Below is our current list of serving needs. Each of these is essential to the smooth operation of our Sunday gatherings as we enter into this next season. In addition, roles marked with an asterisk (*) require membership and/or may have additional serving requirements (Learn more on our Serving page).
Cornerstone Kids* (6)
Support & Security* (3)
Connect Desk* (1)
Greeting Team* (8)
Support & Security* (3)
Connect Desk* (2)
Sunday Cleanup (6)
Both Gatherings (Productions):
Sound Engineer (2)
If you have taken (or are currently taking) the Foundations Class or are a member, but have yet to begin (or resume) serving with us, we encourage you to consider jumping into one of the above teams.
To learn more about our serving roles, visit downtowncornerstone.org/serve. To sign up to serve, click the link below and fill out our simple form. If you have any serving-related questions, please email us at .
Our God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask, think or imagine” (Eph. 3:20). Our church is living proof of that. But, it is easy to take for granted until you step back and consider what God has done.
Together we have spent a decade laboring to plant a vibrant Jesus-centered, Bible-saturated, gospel-proclaiming, people-loving church in the heart of our beloved city. Astonishingly, God has grown an eight person planting team into one of the largest churches in Seattle.
We have seen the gospel spread, the Scripture savored, prayers answered, lives changed, souls saved, saints sanctified, the nominal awakened, sin repented of, relationships reconciled, hurt healed, shame conquered, hope restored, gifts deployed, communities multiplied, missionaries sent, churches planted, relationships forged, couples married, babies born, pandemics endured, and disciples made in one of the least churched, most post-Christian cities in the US. That’s just scratching the surface.
We’ve gathered in apartments, coffee shops, rooftops, parks, community centers, living rooms, foyers, movie theaters, and (most recently) a former dance club as we’ve sought to love our city to life, from the avenues to the alleyways. Throughout, we have searched for a permanent home but have come up short every time—until now.
I am incredibly excited, and profoundly grateful, to share that our gracious God has given us an opportunity to purchase a building in the most densely populated neighborhood of our city (Belltown)—amidst one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.
This is an opportunity for us to have a permanent outpost for proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, planting churches, training leaders, and loving our city for generations to come. It’s a miracle.
God uses people, but always people in actual places, like arks, prison cells, tents, deserts, whale bellies, shipwrecks, and stables. Places are not neutral. Our every day places are miniature stages where Jesus’ story continues to unfold in ways big and small. So, think of this building as a stage for God's unfolding story.
A permanent home in the heart of our city is another step towards fulfilling our vision of becoming a faithful gospel presence for, Lord willing, generations to come. We will have a larger sanctuary, a more versatile children’s space, more classrooms for ongoing discipleship, more space for counseling, greater ability to serve our neighbors, and even a covered parking lot, all under the shadow of the Space Needle.
Therefore, we have created the Onward campaign as a tool to share more about this unbelievable opportunity and invite you to partner with us in prayerful giving to see this building renovated for, Lord willing, generations of gospel ministry. You can learn more here.
Will you join us in establishing a permanent outpost for the gospel in the heart of our beloved city?
Jesus is providentially ruling over all things (Eph. 1:20-21). Yes, even in 2020. His rule is not bland, indifferent, or ineffective; it is purposeful. He is purposefully weaving this year together for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28) so that we would be further fashioned into His image, individually and corporately, and left longing for the incomparable glory to come. We can’t see it yet, but it is coming. So, I hope this finds you resting deeply in his purposeful providence.
On Sunday, November 15th, the Governor rolled-out a new round of four-week restrictions in order to reduce the spike in Covid cases across our state. These restrictions were modifications to existing prohibitions to social gatherings, restaurants, bars, weddings, funerals, fitness facilities, theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, long-term care facilities, travel, sports, and churches. Everyone is impacted in one way or another. The adjusted modification for churches is as follows:
Religious Services: are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. Congregation members/attendees must wear facial coverings at all times and congregation singing is prohibited. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service. Vocal or instrumental soloists are permitted to perform, and vocal soloists may have a single accompanist.
We are already in alignment with the majority of health restrictions for churches, including gathering size, face masks, and distancing. Plus, we are meeting all CDC guidelines in terms of signage, no food or beverages, hand sanitizing stations, and temperature/wellness-checks for staff and volunteers. Further, if anyone has traveled who will be leading from the front, they must get a negative Covid test prior to Sunday.
We are grateful to be gathering because churches are able to meet at greater numbers indoors than anyone else, from sports teams to theaters, concerts to conferences. So, we are doing everything we can to keep everyone as safe as possible. To my knowledge no one with Covid has attended on a Sunday, nor have we had a breakout of any kind.
But, that said, our city is seeing a rise of Covid, higher than we’ve seen yet. Washington is now in the most dangerous Covid red zone. We broke records for new daily cases for the past two weeks. Unfortunately, the primary spreaders are indoor activities because (1) Covid is airborne, (2) risks are higher inside, (3) with people outside your household, (4) over longer stretches of time. In a word, in gatherings precisely like ours.
This is why churches are now being asked to not sing for four weeks. Last Sunday was the first.
However, we believe the spirit of the law is to lower the volume of our singing. After all, singing is basically loud talking. But, talking, laughing, or yelling are not outlawed. It’s the volume they are after. The more people you have belting it out, even with masks and distance, the greater the potential for spread. By God’s grace, we haven’t seen that as a church. The chances of spread in this way are small, but they are not non-existent, especially as cases climb. So, given the increase of Covid in our city, coupled with the privilege we have to gather, temporarily lowering the volume of singing doesn’t seem unreasonable.
Undesirable? Yes. Inconvenient? Yes. Against our preferences? Yes. A hindrance to full-bellied praise? Yes. But, think about it this way. Our city and state are asking, “Will you help us mitigate the spread of Covid in your city, and keep our hospitals from being over-run, by turning the volume down during the portion of your gathering that has the most risk of spread?” Given that it’s a once-a-century pandemic, with numbers going up, and the temporary nature of this restriction, this seems like a fair ask.
To be clear, while the government does have jurisdiction in matters of public safety and health, it doesn’t have jurisdiction over how we use our voices in praising Jesus. There's no question there. However, this is not merely a matter of jurisdiction, but loving our neighbor and being good witnesses of the immeasurable worth of Jesus. Therefore, we are inclined to love our city in this way, without completely forsaking singing, and to re-evaluate at the end of this time. While the elders have personal doubts about whether these restrictions will be limited to four weeks, we will see. But, in the scope of our lives, let alone eternity, it is a very minuscule amount of time.
So, rather than full-throttled singing, we encourage you to significantly lower your volume over the next few weeks. (Unless, of course, you’re at home. In that case, belt it out!) We will still have music and songs, but if you join us live — which we highly encourage — please engage the song lyrics with your normal speaking volume (or quieter). Or, use the songs to pray or reflect. The main issue is volume, so please participate at a much lower volume out of love for those around you. In a sense, very little changes. We’re bringing our singing down twenty decibels for four weeks out of love for our city.
As you have likely discerned, this is not a black and white issue but falls in the realm of prudence. We understand that not everyone will agree, but these are challenging times calling for challenging decisions. Godly Christians may come to different conclusions about whether singing is a risk or whether the government can even ask us to “not sing.” Shepherding a church with such vastly different opinions, and consciences, on these matters is not easy.
But, in the end, we all want the same thing, don’t we? We want to gather. We want to worship. We want to honor Jesus. We want to love others. We want to be safe. We don’t want to be a bridge for Covid to take someone’s life, especially if they have not yet heard the gospel. Therefore, the elders believe this is the best path forward, at least temporarily so. Let’s continue to pray. We’re in this together and we’ll keep you posted as the situation develops.
Christ is all,
Q: What do the elders believe about Covid?
There is a spectrum of beliefs in the public sphere regarding the dangers associated with Covid, and the appropriateness of varying responses. We, as elders, do not want to adjudicate or bind anyone’s consciences, with respect to these varying beliefs and personal choices. We, of course, have to make risk assessments when deciding if/when/how we will gather as a church. To do so, we are relying on what we perceive to be credible health authorities when assessing that risk. At the same time, we have to do our own risk analysis, since authorities, whether health or political, can see worship and fellowship as optional, while we see them as commanded by God for our spiritual well-being.
Q: How should we relate to one another amidst our differing Covid consciences?
Covid puts us in a Romans 14 situation where we must learn to lovingly bear with one another amidst different opinions. For some, this means not passing judgment on those who believe they have more freedom. For others, it means being willing to sacrifice some freedom in order to display love, care, and concern. No matter how deeply we hold our beliefs about Covid, we must remember that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1). We think it’s best to focus less on quarreling about Covid opinions (Rom. 14:1), and more on welcoming one another in love (Rom. 15:7). This applies to individuals and churches.
Q: To what extent should we submit to the government?
There are multiple passages in the New Testament that command us to submit to the governing authorities (e.g. Rom. 13:1-7, 1 Pet. 2:13-16). Such submission is not exhaustive but is bounded, as we must obey God rather than man when the two come into conflict (Acts 5:29). The general principle is that civil disobedience is permitted if the government mandates what God forbids or forbids what God mandates. As such, we believe the government does not have the authority to decide on the components of our corporate worship (e.g. singing).
But, the decision-making matrix doesn’t end there. When the government oversteps its authority, we have a strategic decision to make: (1) Are there good reasons to comply even though we have “the right” not to (e.g. a pandemic)? (2) Or, do we resist the government’s authority, whether actively or passively (e.g. by filing a lawsuit or simply ignoring)? (3) Or, is there a middle way (e.g. fulfilling the spirit of the law, while dismissing the letter)? Different scenarios call for different responses.
Q: But, doesn’t God command us to sing?
There is no doubt that singing is an important aspect in the worship of our God (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19). However, we don’t believe that restricting our volume puts us in a place of disobedience. After all, singing is singing, no matter the volume. Ultimately singing emerges from our hearts (Eph. 5:19). But, temporarily lowering our volume enable us to (1) continue singing, (2) while mitigating the potential spread of Covid, and (3) preserving our witness from being unnecessarily tarnished by others who might see us as being “uncaring” should we ignore the Governor’s directives. We believe showing such flexibility is a way to display our love and care towards those in our community (members, visitors, neighbors, etc) who are very concerned about Covid-19. Thus, this is a matter of being flexible where we can out of love and for the sake of our testimony, rather than merely exercising our rights.
Q: Did you speak with a lawyer in making this decision?
Yes, we spoke with our lawyer. We have considered taking legal action but, at this point, we have been advised against it on practical grounds. At this moment, the courts are not entertaining such arguments, especially for temporary orders. Further, we have to make strategic decisions given the resources that are available to us. While we think maintaining religious freedom, for example, is very important, we don’t have the bandwidth to fight this battle at this moment, nor do we think that it the most strategic battle given all of the uncertainties of Covid.
Q: Did you speak with any medical professionals in making this decision?
Yes, we recently surveyed over ten DCC members who are working in health-related fields, and their unanimous response was that the government’s assessment that “singing increases risk” is a reasonable one. That is not to say that (1) they agree with the Governor’s restriction(s) or (2) they think we should not sing, but that they think that the government is not acting in a completely arbitrary manner.
Q: Why is the government limiting band sizes?
Part of the government’s new order limits the size of our bands to a single vocalist and a single instrumentalist, which seems to be arbitrary and to have nothing to do with Covid risk. However, we decided to comply anyway for strategic reasons: the size of our band is ultimately a matter of indifference, and we don’t think it is worth picking a fight with the government amidst a pandemic, though we’d be within our rights to do so, especially when this order is temporary.
Q: How flexible are we willing to be?
Many of you are (rightly) asking: How far are we willing to go in following governmental guidance that seems to infringe on our corporate worship and shared life together? We are not willing to disobey God under any circumstances, so we will disobey the government if it comes to that. But, we haven’t drawn clear lines in the sand as to how flexible we are willing to be yet. For example, we haven’t yet determined how long we are willing to sing at a low volume. That decision will probably depend on whether Covid seems to be spiking or the curve has been flattened. We are actively working on answering this exact question.
But, to be clear, we would never consider showing this level of flexibility if it meant compromising on the gospel. Our history demonstrates that we do not shy away from topics that are abhorrent to many in the culture around us and even to many Christians (e.g. the sinfulness of humankind, the reality of judgment, abortion, homosexuality, the role of men and women, racism, predestination, etc). While we are ready to adjudicate on those, we are not ready to adjudicate on Covid-19 risk, nor do we think that choosing to lower our volume temporarily is a compromise of the gospel or God’s commands. We don’t mind if our city hates us for loving Jesus and taking him at his word (Mt. 10:22), but we don’t want our city to think we don’t care about their safety when, in fact, we do—temporarily and eternally so.
We’re continuing to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic together and, as we do, we trust that the Lord sovereignly rules over it and is at work, for our good, amidst it.
We recognize this season is a challenge, and part of that challenge is beginning to regather as Jesus’ people. Therefore, we thought it’d be good to put a simple video together to give you a sense of what it looks like to join us on a Sunday.
We’re going above and beyond to keep our church and our city safe, and to love one another well amidst this season—ultimately so that the gospel can be advanced and Jesus can be worshiped.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us at .
From skeptics to new believers to seasoned saints, the knowledge of God—through his Son and his revealed Word—is how we are reconciled to him and grow in relationship with him.
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. – Jesus (John 17:3)
As Jesus’ people, an essential part of knowing God is to set aside dedicated time to learn together from Scripture, apply it to our lives, and savor God as we do that. After all, Spirit-filled savoring of God in this life is what equips us to savor him in the life to come.
To this end, we are continuing to offer midweek classes as a meaningful way for our body to grow together. The purpose of offering classes is not to create big heads, but big hearts.
Most classes will meet over five weeks and held virtually, where you will be live with the class teacher (DCC pastor, staff, or member). We have also prepared a brochure that lists all the classes we will be offering this year, organized into distinct tracks.
Session 1 begins this Wednesday, September 16th at 6:30PM. To ensure availability, and to help us better prepare for the start of class on Wednesday, we ask that you register for Session 1 by Monday, September 14th. See below for class details and registration.
DCC Foundations – This class is the next step for those seeking to learn more about DCC, join a community, serve, be baptized, and become a member. This five-week class serves as the primary relational on-ramp into life with our church and covers what we believe, why we belong, who we are, why we are here, and how we live together. ***This class is required for membership with DCC.*** Register here…
Exploring Christianity – Are you a skeptic who is exploring the claims of Christianity, or you a believer wanting to learn how you can better explain your faith to others? This five-week class will walk through the claims and life of Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. Register here…
How Jesus Changes Us – How does your faith in God impact your everyday thoughts, feelings, and actions? This five-week class will give you an opportunity to reflect on one specific area in your life and learn how God changes you to become more like Jesus. Register here…
New Testament I – The goal for this ten-week class is to help you understand the big picture of each book of the New Testament. You’ll gain a more clear picture of the continuity between the books in the New Testament, see the promises God has kept to his people from the Old Testament, and learn how he speaks to us through his Word today. Register here…
Unity & Diversity – This class covers the biblical foundation of our union with Christ and the need for unity and diversity within the local church, along many dimensions—race especially but not exclusively. We’ll also discuss ways to maintain the unity in Christ of an increasingly diverse body. Register here…
(Begins Wednesday, October 21st @ 6:30PM)
Christians in the Workplace – How should our faith and the reality of who we are in light of the gospel change how we view our work? This five-week class will seek to create a biblical framework for how we approach work, and help you find new and fresh ways of integrating your faith in your work. Register here…
Developing Meaningful Relationships – Imagine being part of an interconnected group of people who entrust themselves to one another. The goal of this five-week class is to help us all consider how meaningful relationships can increasingly become a natural part of the daily life of our church. Register here…
Guidance – Have you ever considered what the Bible says about decision-making? In this five-week class, we’ll look at how we should approach practical decisions in light of God’s wisdom and His revealed will to us in and through the Bible—amidst all of the “counsel” that exists in our world today. Register here…
For more information and FAQs, visit our webpage. If you have any questions, please email us at .
On Sunday, we presented Russ Collins to the church as an elder candidate.
Therefore, we are taking the next month to give you time to meet with him, ask questions, and/or express any concerns you may have. One of the over-arching qualifications for a pastor is that he must be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:1). While we have done our homework, this waiting period is an additional step to ensure all bases are covered and you have an opportunity to speak into the process.
The office of pastor (or elder) was created by God, for the leading, feeding, and protection of his flock, the local church. Therefore, we treat the testing, equipping and installation of such men with great seriousness—and joy!
Russ will not be on DCC’s pastoral staff, but will serve as an elder in a volunteer capacity (i.e. non-staff pastor). Therefore, by necessity, the scope of his pastoral involvement will be limited when compared to a staff pastor. However, his service will be equally significant. As a non-staff pastor, Russ will be involved with preaching, teaching, counseling, officiating weddings and funerals, elder meetings and practical leadership (which currently includes leading a Cornerstone Community).
Our aim is to raise up many non-staff pastors, like Russ, as it helps diversify and strengthen the elder team and, therefore, the church. Russ will be our third non-staff pastor.
Russ is a good man with integrity, love for Jesus, and for Jesus’ church. As elders, we believe he is called, qualified, and ready to be appointed as a pastor. However, we are taking this time in case you know something that we do not.
That said, would you pray for the Collins in this season? Would you also pray for our church? It is a sign of God’s grace to us that we have men, like Russ, being raised-up to lead, feed, and protect Jesus’ flock. Let’s ask Him for more.
Provided nothing arises that would cause us to pause the process, which we don’t foresee, we will install Russ as a pastor on Sunday, October 4th. It will be a great celebration and a joyous moment.
What follows (below) is a short interview with Russ so that you can get to know him a bit better.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can email me directly at .
Christ is all,
On behalf of the elders of DCC
Q: How did you meet Jesus? How has he changed you?
RC: I grew up in the Bible belt (Waco, TX to be specific), but not in a Christian home. I walked the aisle of a Southern Baptist church and asked Jesus into my heart as a junior in high school. But I was like the rocky ground and the ground with thorns. I received the word with joy, but it was short-lived. The cares and desires for things of this world choked the word. Despite this, I thought I was still a Christian because I had prayed a prayer and had a salvation date and was told not to doubt my salvation. It wasn’t until I was 33 through a string of providential people, events and reading of God’s word and apologetic books that I realized I was a sinner and that God’s just wrath was upon me. I had not truly trusted in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. One book I was reading went through the “Romans Road” (How To Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little), and I saw more clearly the gospel: how all have sinned and fall short of glory of God and that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. The author basically said that saving faith is a surrender to the lordship of Jesus in all areas. I initially resisted that idea because if I did that, my family, friends, and co-workers would think I was crazy. I was taught that you just have to believe facts about Jesus, but don’t have to surrender to Him. But in time, God in his grace and mercy opened my eyes to my lostness and depravity and the fact I had been deceived by my prior confession. (Paul’s exhortation in 2 Cor. 13:5 to examine yourself to see if truly in the faith had never been taught to me. In short, I failed the test.) I then repented and believed on Jesus Christ alone for salvation and surrendered my life to him. I received his forgiveness & eternal life and Christ’s righteousness was imputed to me. Thank you, Jesus! In short, my eyes were opened, and I knew Jesus and the Bible were all true. By the way, my family, friends, and co-workers did think I was crazy, but I didn’t care because I understood my true lostness and received God’s grace.
Prior to saving faith, I was frankly successful by the world’s measure. I had a wonderful wife (still do), nice home, two kids (now three) and was climbing the corporate ladder. I was consumed with me, my career, and had no desire to read God’s word, pray, repent of sins, or love others sacrificially, and cussed like a sailor. Upon conversion, that all changed. My affections and actions were turned upside down or, rather, right-side up. I now desire and strive to: know, love and follow Jesus and His word, live for God’s glory, love my wife sacrificially, read Christian books to grow in my knowledge, point my kids to Jesus and the gospel, love others (in the church and out), see God as ruler and not me, grow in seeing God’s grace in my life, repent of sin I am aware of, pray, have outreach Bible studies, serve the church, reach the lost locally and afar, etc. Along the journey, there have been many trials and tribulations, but God’s grace continues to prove sufficient.
Q: Tell us a little about your family.
RC: I am blessed with a beautiful (inside & out) wife, Julie, and three wonderful children (Kylie – 26 years old, Grant – 24, and Grace – 20). I met Julie at Baylor University, where we both graduated. This December 9th, Julie and I will be celebrating 31 years of marriage! The Lord graciously saved us both in the fall of 1998, after being married almost nine years. Our worlds were turned around after that as we sought, and still do, to honor Jesus in our lives.
We lived in the Dallas area until the consulting company I am with, Protiviti, asked if I would consider transferring to lead our PNW practice. Moving to Seattle and running an office were not on my “To Do” list, but we ultimately concluded this was where the Lord wanted us. We moved here in 2016.
Kylie is an elementary school teacher and taught three years at a public school in the Los Angeles area before moving here this summer to take a job at a private, Christian school. Grant played baseball at a small university in California where he received his undergraduate degree in accounting and finance. In May, he graduated from UW with his Master’s in Accounting. He has spent all summer studying and taking the CPA exam. He will move to Dallas later this month to start his career with Ernst & Young. Grace is a sophomore at The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA and is studying business. As a family, we enjoy hanging out together, watching movies, going to sporting events and traveling.
Q: What are you most passionate about?
RC: The first things that come to mind are Jesus and the gospel and all that it entails. I never want to get past the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want it to guide my personal life and the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters. I am still amazed to this day that Jesus has saved me, and I now get to know and serve him. Truly, amazing grace.
I am also passionate about reaching lost souls with this gospel, whether with family, neighbors, co-workers, those that come to DCC, and those throughout Seattle, Washington, and the world. I have taught numerous outreach Bible studies over the years. I am also on the board of, and involved with, two international mission agencies: one serves Uganda and the other serves Dubai. Both ministries involve the local church, and both have started a seminary in recent years. Julie and I also give to other missionaries to help, in some way, reach the lost across the globe.
And of course, I am passionate about my family and love them very much.
Q: How did you get involved with DCC?
RC: After moving from Dallas, I looked at various churches in Seattle and the surrounding area. I was looking for a church that preached and lived out the Bible and was gospel centered. And I wanted some passion from the pulpit. To be honest, my search was a little discouraging. I finally looked up suggested churches on the 9Marks website and saw DCC listed. My first visit was on the sanctity of life Sunday and Pastor Adam was bringing it! He was defending biblically and graciously pro-life and boldly proclaiming the gospel. I remember looking around and asking myself, “Am I in downtown Seattle?” Frankly, I was blown away.
I continued to look at other churches as I am one who takes church commitment seriously and wanted to be at the right place for me and my family: one that would continually point me to Jesus, His word, and the gospel. I also wanted a church led by godly elders that would be looking out for my soul. So as part of this process, I sought to get to know the elders. Long story short, we decided to make DCC our home in the fall of 2016 and have never looked back. Once here, we simply asked where the church needed help and served in those areas.
Q: What are your current areas of oversight?
RC: For the past two years, I have been an apprentice in community with Daniel Hallak. He and his family have recently moved, so I will provide oversight now. In addition, I lead DCC’s financial advisory team. I help teach a class called Exploring Christianity, and Julie and I have also taught/participated in pre-marriage classes. We also have been active in teaching DCC kids for the past several years.
Q: How did you determine you were called to be a pastor?
RC: I have been an elder before, at a much smaller church in Texas, and that was several years ago. In the fall of 2018, Adam invited me to participate in a weekly Elder Development Cohort with some men. That was a very encouraging and growing time. Soon after that class, Adam asked if I would consider going through the elder candidate process, and I said I would think and pray about that. I was and am content to be a faithful member and submit joyfully to our elders (Heb. 13:17). I was also quite busy helping my firm’s local office stabilize and grow our PNW business. I know from experience that being an elder is a demanding role, yet one with great blessing. So, I wanted to take some time to consider.
About a year ago, with encouragement from Pastor Adam and some other men, I started the eldership process to seek the Lord’s will. The process is quite involved and requires a lot of self-examination. There are a lot of questions to answer in writing, around personal, theological, and practical matters. There is a pretty intensive interview process that my wife and I went through. I also got to observe our elders in action during their elder meetings. (Observing those meetings, I saw firsthand the love and care our elders have for the people of DCC.) Throughout this year long process, my heart for the people and purpose of this church grew.
I am not perfect by any means and, like all of us, continue to be sanctified; but I do believe that, by God’s grace, I am biblically qualified. I have a heart to love Jesus’s local flock: to know, feed, protect, and lead. I want to see myself and others grow in our love for Jesus, the gospel, the Bible, his church, one another, and the lost. As I get older, eternity is ever more real to me. I see more and more the brevity of this life and that eternal souls are all around. I continue to be driven by John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life, that I read many years ago where he quoted part of a poem: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.” I want to serve wherever Jesus wants me to. Throughout the elder application process, I have been affirmed by others, including our elders and my family. It is my desire to serve the people of DCC in this role (1 Tim. 3:1). If this is ultimately the Lord’s will, I am deeply humbled and grateful to serve in this way.
Q: How can we be praying for you and your family in this season?
RC: We are going through transition: our oldest daughter has moved to Seattle; our son is about to move to Dallas to start his career, and our youngest daughter is away at college amidst all that is going on in the world. And if the Lord wills, I will take on this role of elder at DCC. We would welcome prayer that we would keep our eyes on Jesus and seek His glory and His will, as well as walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.
I would also welcome prayer for the upcoming Exploring Christianity class and a weekly Bible study that my wife and I started a few weeks ago with my parents, my brother and sister and their respective partners in Texas (using Zoom). Please pray that the Lord would work mightily through these studies and that I would rightly and graciously handle the word of truth.
Let’s be praying for the Collins and our church during this time!
As of today, King County is still in Phase Two of reopening, which has allowed churches to begin regathering, with restrictions. While these restrictions can feel burdensome, they are a small sacrifice to ensure the safety of one another and our city.
As Pastor Adam shared a few weeks ago, we first started opening our doors by extending an invite to our members on a three-week rotational basis. Since then, we’ve had extra room and more seats available that we can fill!
Therefore, we want to go ahead and begin opening up these remaining seats to other non-members and guests who may feel comfortable participating with us.
If you are interested in participating with us on a Sunday:
First, please read these guidelines to ensure you understand the limitations, risk, and are able to meet the requirements for gathering with us.
Jesus’ church is unstoppable. Nations rise and fall, but His Church remains. Wars uproot and destroy, but His Church remains. Secular ideologies come and go, but His Church remains. Hostile opposition persecutes and rages, but His Church remains. Human pride boasts and flexes, but His Church remains. Pandemics spread and kill, but His Church remains.
Jesus put it this way, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it” (Matt. 16:18). There is no stopping what God is doing, no matter what might be happening. It is important to remember that in a season like ours. We are hindered, but Jesus is not.
As of last Friday, King County is now in Phase Two of reopening which has brought with it greater flexibility for churches to re-gather—though, in a limited fashion.
Churches are now allowed to gather at 25% of the maximum capacity of their meeting space, while social distancing and wearing face masks. For us, that means we can host 54 households (i.e. whether a single, couple, family, or housemates), allowing for 54-110 people to gather for worship.
Therefore, beginning this Sunday (6/28) we will resume gathering at 10am within these limitations. For now, our plan is to hold one gathering throughout July for DCC members on a rotating basis (allowing for Sunday participation approximately once every three weeks). We are considering moving to two gatherings in August. Please note that you will need pre-register to attend.
Why only members at this point? Church membership is not parallel to a Costco membership. To be a church member is to formally unite yourself as a member of a specific body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-26) and member of a specific local family of God (Eph. 2:19). It’s a visible and visceral way of putting flesh on gospel realities.
In that sense, the members are the church. Members are those who have committed themselves to one another for the sake of discipleship (1 Thess. 5:11), accountability (Mt. 18:17), pastoral care (Heb. 13:17), guarding of the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and the glory fo God (1 Cor. 10:31). Therefore, it makes sense to start with the members—at least, at first. If you want to learn more about the local church, and the biblical rationale for membership, you may find this sermon on The Wonder of Jesus’ Local Church helpful.
Members, you will be receiving additional information this week that outlines how to sign-up for an upcoming Sunday gathering and what to expect when we get together. We understand this raises all sorts of questions, so we ask for grace and flexibility as we navigate these uncharted waters together.
Our Sunday livestream will continue indefinitely for those who are not yet members, for members who are uncomfortable gathering, for families with young children, for those with underlying health issues, and those exploring the person and work of Jesus. We’re not out of the woods yet, so let’s keep praying.
The Lord has built waiting into our experience of life and that waiting is particularly acute in this season. But, we wait in hope (Ps. 39:7; 62:5; 130:5). In Him, our waiting is not in vain, wasted, a mere obstacle, nor necessarily riddled with regrets of “what might have been.” In His hands our waiting is doing something—even if we don’t know the full extent of what that is from our vantage point—because our God is sovereign.
We are in unprecedented territory as we consider resuming life amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. What will things look like on the other side? No one knows for sure.
At this point, Washington State’s Governor, Jay Inslee, has proposed a phased approach to re-opening. Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks, provided the occurrence of the disease meets state-designated metrics. The CDC and the state have also provided additional direction for churches. Therefore, it seemed prudent to craft a tentative plan for DCC to resume life together around the four government-mandated phases.
We’re reluctant to commit to anything in writing as the situation continues to evolve and there remain many unknowns. Yet, we understand it is helpful to have a general sense of the direction we are heading, even if we must adapt along the way. Expectations are helpful, even if they are not our preferred outcome.
Let’s continue to pray—for one another, other gospel-preaching churches, and for justice to prevail in our city. Let’s ask Him to uniquely use this season to create a spiritual awakening our city has never seen.
There is scarcely a page in the Bible that does not deal with the trials and troubles of life, from the mundane to the catastrophic: sibling murder (Gen. 4:8), cataclysmic flooding (Gen. 7:22), betrayal (Gen. 37:24), forced enslavement (Ex. 1:13), rebellion (Num. 16), unwanted wandering (Num. 32:13), inept leadership (Jud. 21:25), economy-ruining famine (Ruth 1:1), infertility (1 Sam. 1:6), impossible battles (1 Sam. 17), political turmoil (2 Sam. 15), fear (2 Kings 10:4), exile (2 Kings 25:11), life-altering loss (Job 1:13-19), pestilence (Dt. 28:21), heart-rending grief (Neh. 1:4), opposition (Ezra 4:4-5), humiliation (Est. 7:7-10), haunting questions (Ps. 42:11), prolonged waiting (Ps. 40:1), failure (Ps. 51), sickness (Isa. 38:1), weeping (Jer. 9:1), lament (Lam. 2:5), mourning (Dan. 10:2), regret (Mt. 27:5) and more.
Yet, over them all, the “Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev. 19:6). He “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11); not merely some things or most things or easy things—all things. This means he is always at work and that nothing can thwart his purposes (Job. 42:2), including Covid-19. God’s sovereignty over suffering sustains the soul, even amidst death, because his purposes are wise (Isa. 28:29) and good (Ps. 73:1). The Scriptures are a living testimony to this wisdom and goodness of God amidst trial and trouble and are, therefore, meant to infuse our lives with endurance, encouragement and hope, in Christ (Rom. 15:4). So, I hope this brief note finds you tethered to God through God’s Word.
#1 We will continue to livestream on Sundays @ 10AM.
Governor Inslee’s order requires all state citizens to remain at home unless we need to go out for essential services or are performing those services ourselves. While there was some ambiguity earlier in the week, we have learned that the government does include churches providing streaming as “essential.” This was confirmed by our lawyers here and Inslee himself here when he said, “Religious institutions can have…a certain number of people present at places of worship to ensure that online remote services can be afforded to their flocks” (2:30 minute mark). Therefore, by God’s grace, we will continue to livestream on Sunday mornings at 10AM while being “subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1-7).
#2 We will not celebrate the Lord’s Supper until we are gathered again.
Some have asked whether we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper virtually during this time. The short answer is: no. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance that points to the new people of God whom Jesus redeemed and is therefore corporate by its very nature (1 Cor. 10:17). This is why it is only celebrated when we come together (note the language of “come together” in 1 Cor. 11:17,18,20,33), not merely as individuals, households, or smaller segments of the church. Perhaps the Lord will use this time to grow our love, appreciation, and longing for celebrating the Supper together.
#3 Let’s be generous, sacrificial, and cheerful givers together.
This season is financially impacting many in our church in dramatically different ways. Many remain gainfully employed, whereas others have suddenly lost their jobs or found themselves on furlough. Amidst this season of uncertainty, we are still called by God to worship him through our finances by placing him squarely in the middle of our budgets. This giving is to be voluntary, eager, and cheerful (2 Cor. 9:7). God rewards these kinds of givers in a myriad of ways (2 Cor. 9:6). So, let’s continue to trust him in our giving together because His mission continues, the gospel must go forth, discipleship never stops, churches need to be planted, and our city is ready to be served.
Let’s continue to pray—for one another, other gospel-preaching churches, and for our city. Let’s ask Him to uniquely use this season to create a spiritual awakening our city has never seen.